They sacrificed their lives to rid the world of tyranny, to enlighten their fellow Germans on the horror their government was committing, and to act on their conscience. They were not silent about what they believed in, even in the face of torture and death.
In memory of them, I'm sharing a few excerpts from my novel, Resist.
My gait was light after emerging from Professor Huber’s lecture. I always felt free and self-assured after hearing the man talk of God’s goodness and the future of Germany that we would shape. There were only a handful of professors left who dared to speak freely against the evils of the day, for if caught, they were promptly reprimanded by the National Socialist inclined Student Bund. I grinned to myself. The Student Bund was too stupid to interpret Professor Huber’s lectures as being anti-Nazi.
He wasn’t an elderly scholar in the least. He was a middle-aged man who still had hair on his head, but a limp required him to carry a cane. He stared into the distance with sharp brown eyes, seemingly troubled by something.
“This war must be shortened whether by sabotage, illegal propaganda, or … or assassination. We must end this destruction of morals and decency.”
"The German people are in ferment. Will we continue to entrust the fate of our armies to a dilettante? Do we want to sacrifice the rest of German youth to the base ambitions of a Party clique? No, never! The day of reckoning has come - the reckoning of German youth with the most abominable tyrant our people have ever been forced to endure. In the name of German youth we demand restitution by Adolf Hitler's state of our personal freedom, the most precious treasure we have, out of which he has swindled us in the most miserable way. "
Little did I know that it was the last time I’d ever see him. If I had known, I would have made peace at once. I wouldn’t have allowed him to leave in such a state of hurt and anger. That wasn’t how I wished to part with him. But I didn’t know.
I honestly thought we’d be meeting again.
The basement was still for a long moment. The only sound was the creaking of the chair Alex was leaning his back into. “What could be purer than a white rose?”
“Do you approve of Hans’ choice of friends?” Alex turned to Sophie, as we strolled down the damp road. Flower petals stuck to the brick, and the air smelled musky.
“He couldn’t find nicer anywhere in the world.”
“Hans, I dearly like your sister.” Alex’s voice was light, as if he didn’t have a care in the world.
But I knew better. We all had cares—an extremely perilous one in particular.
“Sophie!” Alex cheered, squinting up at her. “Come to see your brothers off?”
I smiled. His statement showed how close our group had become to each other. We were all family in our mind, Alex, Willi, Christl, Sophie and I. We were brothers and sister in arms. Kin.
“We must inflict the people with the sense of guilt.” Alex set down his paper. “For if they allow this to go on without making a conscious effort to end it, they are just as guilty as Hitler and the Nazis.”
"We will not be silent. We are your bad conscience. The White Rose will not leave you in peace."